China set to launch Shenzhou-15 spacecraft - RTHK
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China set to launch Shenzhou-15 spacecraft

2022-11-28 HKT 11:16
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  • The Shenzhou-15 mission will wrap up the last stage of the space station's construction. Photo: Xinhua
    The Shenzhou-15 mission will wrap up the last stage of the space station's construction. Photo: Xinhua
The Shenzhou-15 spacecraft will blast off to the Tiangong space station at 11:08 pm Beijing time on November 29, the China Manned Space Agency said on Monday.

The Shenzhou-15 mission will wrap up the last stage of the space station's construction, and kick off the first stage of its application and development, Ji Qiming, assistant to the director of the China Manned Space Agency, said at a press conference.

The taikonauts embarking on the mission are Fei Junlong, Deng Qingming and Zhang Lu, with Fei as the commander, Ji said, adding the crew will stay in orbit for about half a year.

After entering orbit, the Shenzhou-15 spaceship will make a fast, automated rendezvous and dock with the front port of the space station's core module, Tianhe, according to the agency.

The space station will then be expanded to its largest configuration with three modules and three spaceships, having a total mass of nearly 100 tonnes.

During their stay in orbit, the Shenzhou-15 crew will rotate with the Shenzhou-14 trio in orbit, witness the arrival of the Tianzhou-6 cargo craft and Shenzhou-16 manned spaceship.

They will also have a work handover with the Shenzhou-16 crew in orbit.

The trio will return to the ground in May next year, the agency said. (Xinhua/Reuters)
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Last updated: 2022-11-29 HKT 11:45